U.S. Snapshot of Tribal Governmental Gaming
  • 566 federally-recognized Indian Tribes
  • 240 Tribal Governments engaged in gaming (Class II or Class II)
  • 460 Tribal Governmental gaming operations (several Tribes operate more than one facility)
  • 28 states with Tribal Governmental gaming: (Class II or Class III)
  • 249 Tribal-State gaming compacts
  • 400,000 plus jobs created – 75% held by non-Indians
    (In areas of high unemployment, 80% of Tribal governmental gaming employees are Indian)
Tribal Government Gaming in Oklahoma
  • 38 federally-recognized Indian Tribes
  • 391 Tribes have signed compacts
  • 130 Tribal gaming operations – these range from an annex to a gas stop to full scale resort casinos
Tribes & Per Capita Payments
  • Three-fourths of gaming Tribes devote all of their revenue to Tribal governmental services, economic and community development, to neighboring communities and to charitable purposes. 75% of tribes do not give out per capita payments.
  • Tribal government services, Economic and Community development, general tribal welfare, charitable donations and any requirements for aid to local governments must be provided for before a Tribe can file for a “Revenue Allocation Plan.”
  • The Secretary of the Interior must approve any per capita payments as part of a “Revenue Allocation Plan.”
  • Only about one-fourth of Tribes engaged in gaming distribute per capita payments to tribal members.
  • Tribal members receiving per capital payments pay federal income tax on these payments.
Regulation & Indian Gaming
  • Tribal Governmental gaming is regulated on three levels.
  • Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Indian Nations and Tribes are primary regulators of Indian gaming. IGRA stipulates that Tribes establish the basic regulatory framework for Indian gaming.
  • State regulation may be included in Tribal/State compacts for Class III gaming.
  • Federal agencies enforce laws relating to Indian gaming, including the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Interior Department, the Justice Department, FBI, IRS, Secret Service and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • Federal law makes it a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison to steal, cheat, or embezzle from an Indian gaming operation. That law is enforced by the FBI 18 USC ss.
Taxes & Tribal members
  • All Indian people pay federal income tax.
  • All Indian people pay FICA taxes.
  • All Indian people pay social security taxes.
  • Only those Indians who live and work on their own federally recognized reservations – not unlike soldiers and their families living on military installations – are exempt from paying state income and property taxes.
Tribal Use of Net Revenues
  • Revenues from Tribal Governmental gaming must be used in five specific areas as stipulated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2710 [Sec. 11].
  • Net revenues from any tribal gaming are not to be used for purposes other than
    • to fund Tribal Government operations or programs;
    • to provide for the general welfare of the Indian tribe and its members
    • to promote Tribal economic development
    • to donate to charitable organizations
    • to help fund operations of local government agencies